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Acoustic Services

Acoustics form part of the Approved Document E (ADE) and require all dwelling-houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes, to be designed and constructed to provide reasonable resistance to sound passage from other rooms within the same building and adjoining buildings, along with excessive external noises.

The legislation is also in place for material change of use projects, involving turning a non-residential building into a house or flats. Building Regulations stipulate that the construction must involve measures that will provide protection against sound and reverberation.

From planning to completion noise can cause problems within a build that can require time and cost to rectify. Build Aviator has partnered with LABC Acoustics to offer a comprehensive service offering to assist with this.

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Planning Support

Even at the planning stage, noise could be a problem in your build. If your planning application does not show how you are protecting your development from transportation and in some cases commercial noise, an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) can prevent the development from commencing. Whether your development is permitted or not, the EHO can stop work from beginning without certain site conditions being met, such as a plan to protect residents of the development from excessive traffic noise entering habitable rooms.

The Build Aviator acoustic planning services are designed to take some of that stress away.

    • We can provide Environmental Noise Risk Assessments followed by Acoustic Design Statements smoothing the noise issues which are holding up your development.
    • Our reports will, where possible, list a range of products to assist your build to include items such as fencing, glazing and ventilation. In addition, the report will help you to demonstrate that you have considered good Acoustic Design, in your site layout part, of the latest Professional Practice Guidance (ProPG).

We cannot guarantee planning permission in any instance, but we can assure you that we will do our utmost to assist.

Pre-Build

We can offer a desktop study service to check your plans and details against the Approved Document recommendations and provide specification support where required.

We can help you with material procurement, to reduce the risk of noise mitigating materials not meeting regulatory standards

Services for a permitted development or existing building

You may have planning for the proposed conversion of offices to flats but you still need to comply with ADE (Approved Document E). We can provide an existing building audit survey and report to assist you with specifying products for existing structures and steer you on

Testing

Specialist advice and guidance:  Sound insulation testing is now a very important part of the build process for both new-build and material change-of-use (conversions) residential dwellings. The changes to the Building Regulations requirements, and in particular, the pre-completion test routine detailed in the Approved Document E (ADE) can be quite complex, we offer specialist advice to guide the person responsible for the building work through the process.

Testing: We offer a UKAS Accredited Sound Insulation Testing service as required by Approved Document E (Amended 2015) of the Building Regulations.

Noise Mitigation Advice: Should any of your tests fail, we have considerable experience in fixing problems with sound insulation should they occur. Noise mitigation advice is built into our fees for the testing. We have years of experience in dealing with all parties involved in the build process from architects, surveyors, contractors, designers, building control and building warranty companies.

If I’m using Robust Details do I need a sound test?

No, you don’t need a pre-completion sound test when using Robust Details. However, Robust Details can only be used in certain circumstances. See below.

Can I use Robust Details for every type of build?

No, you can only use Robust Details for new build houses or flats. You cannot use them for the following, whether they are new build or not:

  • Hotels
  • Hostels
  • Boarding houses
  • Student halls of residence
  • Material Change of Use projects

Do I need an acoustics test for a self-build?

No, not if it’s a detached self-build dwelling. However, you may want to consider the acoustic measures/materials being used in the house if you require a high level of acoustic comfort.

If you’re opting for an open plan design you may also want to consider noise levels/storage of those everyday devices, such as washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, boilers etc.

Reducing the Risk of Acoustic Error Through a Desktop Study

A Material Change of Use (MCOU) project avoided problems with Building Regulations Approval through a desktop study.

A Material Change of Use (MCOU) project  featured a former office building that was being converted into eight flats, and despite the project having planning permission under permitted development, Local Authority Building Control requested the detailing undergo further scrutiny.

An acoustic desktop study examined the MCOU designs and found that sound insulation detailing for the separating wall relied on a laboratory test certificate result for the stud wall design, and did not factor in the on-site conditions, which impact this result. If the wall had been built it would not have met noise performance requirements for a MCOU.

Unlike on site conditions the lab test is based in an ideal test environment  and results in a test value that does not take into account sound transmission and leakage around the wall or floor test element. An airborne sound insulation test in a laboratory results in a ‘weighted sound reduction index’ (dB Rw+Ctr). This is commonly 7 – 10dB higher than the sound insulation for a similar construction if measured on site (DnTw + Ctr). A airborne field test result is known as a ‘weighted standardised level difference’.

This difference in noise performance had not been factored into the designs and if the wall had been built it would have failed to meet Approved Document E requirements in the field test.

In addition, the desktop study identified an acoustically ‘weak’ junction detail between  the party wall with the internal leaf of the external wall.  The proposed 100mm masonry internal leaf of the external wall construction was less than the guideline mass for a flanking element, of 375kg/m2 as stated within the Approved Building Regulations Part E for the wall type used. It had the potential to transmit sound ‘flank’ around the separating wall element.

To minimise the potential for this to occur, an isolated GypLyner Universal system was specified on all internal leaves of the external walls where the inner facing leaf was less than 375kg/m2. This then complied with the recommended detail in the Approved Document and minimised the risk of failure when put under field testing.

The design and specification changes recommended via the acoustic desktop study, resulted in a satisfactory pre-completion testing performance of all the party walls and saved the client time and any costly remedial work.

 

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